Reflection.

I read an article the other night explaining how ‘love’ changes with every age. UGH, I KNOW GUYS. Here I go again on another rant about being broken-hearted and single and blah blah blah. BUT, that is not where I am going with this. As I read this article, unable to really connect much to it, I started to do a reflection of my year. I then rolled over and grabbed my phone, and started swiping through my pictures from this past year remembering the good and bad times.

How was my 2017?

Could I sum it up in one word?

I think the word I might choose is: chaos.

This year has been both amazing and heartbreaking for me. I won a lot of battles and had to fight quite a few as well. In 2017, I graduated and found a job I absolutely love. A job that is both fulfilling and exhausting, the way it should be in my eyes. I was surrounded by amazing people, but also got stabbed in the back by one too many of the people I thought respected me. I overcame a lot of personal battles, speaking out about my past with mental health, but I ignored the fact I still have a lot to face on that front. I stood up for myself when it came to the men I let into my life, but also found that I was still being walked all over.

Reading my last couple posts (after being made aware from a friend), I find that they do come off quite negative. The thing is, I am a very positive person if you ask the people that are around me frequently, but I do find I tend to concentrate and fixate on the negative things. I let the bad outweigh the good, no matter the severity of either side. With my job as a youth care worker, I spend the majority of my days, trying to convince the youth I work with to stay positive. To continue working on their goals and to continue pushing through their treatment and the trauma they’ve gone through in the past. After doing this consistently for 8-12 hours a day, I come home absolutely physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted. These are the times I usually end up blogging. When I am all out of positive things and motivation. When I am at my lowest, and my mind is fixating on the negativity in my life, instead of the 10 smiles I put on the boys’ faces I worked with that day. This is when I take the frustration out on the people I care about, when I let my mind convince myself of negative ideologies and when instead of thinking about all the wonderful things I have going for me, I think about all the things I’m still lacking in my life.

I’m sorry to the people who have read my blog and left with a negative image of me. I am sorry to the people who think I am trying to throw pity parties for myself. I am neither a negative person nor am I trying to get people aboard my personal party of pity.

Life is a constant uphill battle for each and every one of us, and the way we each cope and deal with our struggles look different. I am 100% a very emotional person. When I am sad, every inch of my body feels it. When I am happy, I feel that happiness all the way to my soul.

With this year quickly coming to an end, and I continue to reflect on the many triumphs and challenges of this year, instead of talking and revisiting the negativity of certain situations, I am going to try and think about the lessons I learnt from each situation. Maybe I will post about these in the week(s) to come, maybe I won’t. But for those of you who have hung on strong all the way to the end of this lengthy post, I want you to remember and leave with this thought.

No one is perfect in this world, regardless of how they portray themselves on social media or in their day to day lives. Everybody has their own things going on. Everybody has their own battles to fight on a daily basis. All you can do personally is continue to treat people how you want to be treated yourselves. Try to see the world in a more positive view, concentrating on the beautiful things in life that often get overseen because negativity blinds each of us. Work hard. Be nice. And find something in every day that makes you smile and makes you happy to be alive.

-Ash

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love.

I found this article while working my night shift tonight and I thought it was pretty interesting. Unfortunately, I don’t have a partner to ask these questions to, but I thought it would be cool to ask them to myself.

Here’s the original article: “40 Questions To Ask Your Partner About Love That Are Really Hard To Answer, But Will Make Your Connection Even Stronger”

My answers:

1. How do you know when you love someone?

I think everyone knows they love someone a little differently. Since I am already a very generous and caring person, I think I may feel love differently than other people. Is it too cliche to say: you just know? Because I think when you love someone or you fall in love with another person, you just know.

2. Is romantic love the most important love of all?

I personally don’t think so. I mean romance is awesome, but I think there are other types of love that are more important. For me, I would rather someone take time out of their busy schedule to spend time with me than to buy me flowers or give me some kind of gift.

3. Do you think once you love someone, you will ALWAYS love them? Or do you think love can fade away with time?

I think this is where people get love wrong. I believe love is something you constantly have to work on and continue to keep strong. In many relationships, people think the love they originally have, will be the love they have forever, but love fades, love changes, love is stronger at some points of a relationship and weaker at other parts, and that’s where the couple needs to see eye to eye in continuing to build on and keep that love strong.

4. What’s the first thing you notice about someone when you fall for them?

This one is hard for me to answer. I have told three separate people in my life that I was in love with them, and all three kinds of love I felt were completely different. Does that mean I was never truly in love? Maybe. Or maybe the love I share with different people is exactly that, different. I think the first thing I notice about someone when I fall in love with them, is how they love themselves and how they love those around them.

5. What’s one thing about love that scares you?

The one thing about love that scares me is not knowing if the person’s love they have for me is the same feeling I have for them.

6. Do you believe in love at first sight?

I used to. I think I now believe in love at first connection. It’s easy to have an attraction or lust for another person, but I think it’s the connection that you feel with that other person is what’s the most important.

7. Which do you agree with? Love should always feel comfortable, or love should always feel new and exciting?

I think love should feel comfortable. I think we should all feel at home with the person we love, and we should be able to be completely ourselves with no judgement.

8. What do you think makes people in love?

I think there are many aspects that make two people fall in love. Having a connection both physically and mentally. Allowing yourself to open up. Spending time together. Having that person there for you in good and bad moments of your life. Allowing them to be a part of your personal and family life. Seeing and talking about a future with them.

9. What makes you fall out of love?

Again there are probably many aspects that make two people fall out of love. Dishonesty, lost trust, an unequal effort being put into the relationship, different views on important things in life and not being able to find a compromise, jealousy. For me, I think the moment I no longer feel like I can trust the person I love, would be when I would start to fall out of love.

10. Do you believe people can change if they love someone?

I definitely think people can change while loving another person, but I don’t think you should ever build a relationship on the assumption that one or both people in the relationship are going to change.

11. Do you think knowing whether or not it’s love depends on how long you’ve known the person?

No. I definitely don’t think so. I think there are couples that know right away if they’re going to fall in love with each other (shout out to my besties Nic and Matt), but there are also couples that take more time to find that same love.

12. How long do you think it takes before you know you love someone?

For me personally, I’m not sure. I get love and lust confused all the time. I definitely love people easily, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I am IN love with them. I think when I finally find the right person, I will know.

13. Would you still be able to love someone after they’ve been unfaithful?

I personally don’t think so. I have been the ‘side chick’ in way too many situations. I have seen many men disrespect their girlfriends and wives. I think it would take me a lot of time and effort to rebuild the same amount of love and trust I had.

14. What constitutes cheating/unfaithfulness for you?

I think a person knows if they are cheating or being unfaithful. Obviously any physical act with another person, but I think verbally talking or texting another person could be cheating as well. If it’s something you feel like you have to hide from your partner, you’re being unfaithful.

15. What’s worse an emotional affair or a physical one?

I think they are pretty equal in my eyes. If a person is seeking either of those things from another person, they are clearly lacking it in the relationship they are in.

16. If you love someone, is unfaithfulness/cheating something that can be forgiven?

Like I said above, maybe with time. But I think it would be hard for me.

17. When it comes to cheating, forgive and forget, forgive but don’t forget, or don’t forgive at all?

I think the only way to move forward in that relationship would be to forgive and forget, if you can’t do that, I think it would be hard to continue a relationship with that person.

18. Do you believe love changes you?

I think the right love would push you to change in positive ways. For example to be the best version of yourself, but never stray from the person you truly are. I think love changes me in a good way. It gives me the confidence to be myself and helps me remember I deserve to be loved and to love myself.

19. Do you think people should change themselves to find love?

No, no, no, no, no, nooooo.

20. What do you think is the most important factor of keeping love alive in a relationship?

To keep love alive, I think both sides have to continue to work on the relationship. That doesn’t always mean giving equally because sometimes one partner may need more support than the other, but it means being okay with that. Continuing to push each other, believing in each other dreams and making sacrifices.

21. Would you rather have EXTRAORDINARY love that doesn’t last forever, or ordinary love that does?

Hmmmm. Tough one. Shouldn’t all love be extraordinary? I don’t just want ordinary love. I want the type of love that makes me smile just thinking about it. The kind of love people can feel when they are around my partner and me. So I guess the first answer and then I’ll just turn into a crazy dog lady when it ends.

22. Do you think the way your family loves has affected the way you love?

It definitely does. It’s a psychological fact. The way you were treated growing up and the love you saw in your parents or from your family around you, definitely has an effect on not only the way you love but how you view love.

23. Who is one couple you know that you admire in terms of love?

My parents and the way my dad has stood beside my mother through thick and thin (more thin than thick).

24. Do you believe you can be friends with someone you loved in the past?

I think so. It may take time but I do think it’s possible. I think both people have to be over their romantic feelings for the other person though.

25. What makes a relationship healthy?

Equality in all aspects. Openness and trust. Being able to say: “I’m sorry” and mean it. Understanding that you will sometimes have to make sacrifices and put the other person first.

26. What’s more important physical connection, or emotional?

I think both are very important and I think both are connected. I think having sex with someone who you have an emotional connection with is way better.

27. Is sex more of a physical connection for you, or emotional?

For me, it’s both. It’s very hard for me to not get an emotional connection with someone I have sex with.

28. Which makes you fall in love with someone more, physical attraction or a non-physical connection?

Non-physical connection. Opening up to someone or having someone open up to you is so huge.

29. Have you ever loved someone who you hoped would change for you?

Oh ya, probably way too many times. I think we’ve all experienced this (except maybe a few of the lucky ones). Take it from me, IT NEVER WORKS.

30. Have you ever changed yourself to make someone love you?

I’ve definitely tried, but again IT NEVER WORKS. I’ve learnt to save myself from disappointment and heartache and just be myself.

31. If you had a child what’s the first thing you would teach them about love?

I think the most important way to teach children about love is not by using your words, but by showing them by the way you love and support your spouse.

32. What’s one thing about love that scares you?

Having my heart broken, because it’s already happened too many times.

33. Do you believe vulnerability is a good thing when it comes to love?

Yes, it definitely is important.

34. What is the most vulnerable way you let someone into your life?

I think the most vulnerable thing to do, is to let the other person see you in your good and bad moments of life. Let them see you when you’re on the top of the world, but also let them see you when you feel as though you’ve hit rock bottom.

35. Define love in 5 words.

Honesty/Openness
Fun
Friendship
Trust
Connection

40. What’s the craziest thing you’d do for love?

Move my life for my partner.

trust-less

The feeling I am having right now is not the feeling I wanted to start this year around the sun with. I feel betrayed, heartbroken and abused. **Not in a physical type of abuse kind of way, just to clarify. But I feel abused emotionally.

I never want to have to change myself for the better of the people around me, to make people like me more, or to make the people around me more comfortable. I grew up doing that way too often, and I am finally happy with the person I am today. I am outgoing, fun and caring. I put the people I love and care about first in my life and would give them the world if I could. But the issue I have continuously come across with is people take advantage of this characteristic of mine. Instead of it being a personality strength, it commonly becomes a weakness.

But how do I change this? Do I block these people out of my life? Do I close myself off, and build up the walls that have taken me years to tear down?

I don’t know. And I also don’t know how much longer I can have my heart continually walked all over.

 

27 things I’m Going to Work on This Year

ashb.jpg

 

Last year for my birthday I wrote the 26 things I learnt in 26 years of my life, so this year I’m changing it up. I’m going to talk about the things I want to work on this year. Basically like New Year resolutions, but wayyyy cooler.

To start off, I’d just like to state.. HOW ON EARTH AM I ALREADY 27.. what da heck!? I really need to step back and rethink the title of my blog since it’s starting to age me. (Hahaha- sarcastically laughing to make myself feel better).

I can’t believe the vision I used to have about this age when I was younger. I mean I feel like we all talked about how we thought we’d be married, having kids, with stable careers at this age. I would love all those things, but I also love the path I’m on. It’ll definitely make for great stories one day….

Here are the 27 things I’m going to work on, or continue working on this year!

1) Praise myself more often. I had a great conversation the other day with some clients at work. We talked about how our society is obsessed with always needing to do better, and that we never stop and appreciate how far we’ve come and praise ourselves for what we’ve accomplished. This year I want to stop and be thankful for how far I’ve come and for all the things I’ve accomplished.

2) Stop using ‘busy’ as an excuse. I’m a huge believer that a person can always make time for the things they want to in life, yet I am constantly making the excuse that I’m too busy to do things. I need to be more honest with my true feelings and stop using my work as an excuse.

3) On the same note, I need to stop being so busy, and start saying ‘no’ more often. I can’t do everything, I need to realize that before I work myself to the bone!

4) Tell people how much they mean to me more often.

5) Spend more quality time with my grandma.

6) Practise my Spanish more before I lose it.

7) Spend less time on my phone, specially right before bed.

8) Stop eating food in my bed. I’ve woken up to too many melted chocolate chips in my bed (I wish I was kidding).

9) Be better with my money. I’ve actually gotten a lot better, but I need to continue to save, and spend money on needs and not wants.

10) Listen to the men I bring into my life. I often get caught up making up love stories and situations in my head. But I need to stop and realize that if a boy isn’t making time for me, he doesn’t truly want to.

11) Read more!

12) Keep my room more organized.

13) Make time for the meaningful relationships in my life, like family and friends.

14) Forgiveness. Holding onto grudges hurts no one else except myself. I need to learn to let go and move on.

15) Don’t stress about the things I can’t control in my life. I can’t control what people say about me. I can’t control another persons feelings about me. I can only be kind and be myself.

16) Stop blocking people out of my life. Use my words to express my feelings and not the “block” button.

17) Disconnect more often from social media.

18) Find new passions that make me happy.

19) Cook and bake more.

20) Start the things I keep telling myself I’ll do later in life.

21) Take myself on dates. Buy myself flowers. Who needs a man for those things?

22) Stop unnecessarily filtering myself because I’m scared people won’t like who I am.

23) And at the same time, stop trying to filter others because I’m scared of how people will also view them (that’s not my problem).

24) Stop worrying so much about pleasing others, and please myself.

25) Stop filtering my emotions. I’m allowed to feel however I want to and don’t need to feel sorry for that.

26) Answer phone calls, texts, emails, etc. as soon as I can. It’s the adult thing to do.

27) Stop allowing an age define me and where I should be in life.

one day.

I hope one day, you find what you’re looking for.

I hope one day, you find someone who doesn’t complete you, but compliments you.

I hope one day, you realize that being vulnerable is okay.

I hope one day, you see the beauty to showing someone your feelings and not assuming they already know.

I hope one day, you realize that waiting for the love you deserve was worth it.

I hope one day, you realize that you don’t need to do any kind of extravagant gesture to change the world, and simply being yourself already does that.

I hope one day, you are able to accept a compliment.

I hope one day, you love yourself as much as you want someone else to love you.

I hope one day, you stop letting people walk all over you.

I hope one day, you are surrounded by happiness.

I hope one day, you appreciate yourself as much as others do.

Come Along With Me- Scar Removal

Hey guys!

I have decided to share a new journey with you all! I have been chosen for a program called Nu Beginnings. It is a “community outreach initiative specialized in helping those who have had their confidence affected by accidents, illness, trauma or self harm”, started by a local medical esthetics clinic, Nu Image. I had to apply for this program and was a little nervous at first.

I have had my scars for so long, they are almost like a part of me, a part of my identity. Proof that I survived a tough part of my life. In the large picture, I chose to apply because I think it is a great opportunity to share my journey and bring awareness to self-injury and mental illness. I know many people wouldn’t tag me as someone who struggled with self-injury in the past, so I think it’s awesome to be able to show that mental illness and self-injury doesn’t fit the societal built stereotypes.

So I went into my first appointment at Nu Image about a week ago and sat down with two ladies: Jennifer and Vida. They explained the program to me and asked if I would be okay with sharing my story. My answer was yes. They explained that many people working there had backgrounds and degrees in psychology, and mental illness had a huge part of their hearts which is why they wanted to start this program.

Next, they looked at my scars (which I have on the top of my left arm and on my right thigh). They decided by looking at my scars that there are three treatments they would try.

1) Microneedling which would help the texture of my scars.

2) Laser which would lighten the scarring.

3) Cosmetic tattooing to fix the skin pigment.

I went for my first treatment yesterday which turned out to be lasering. The pictures below show immediately after the treatment (which is why they look swollen) and the day after.

I’m not going to lie it did hurt and I would say I have a quite high pain tolerance. The part that hurt the most was when Vida would go over the same spot more than once with the laser. The smell was also quite bad, smelling like burnt hair and skin. I was given numbing cream which helped a lot and also given some to take home and apply twice daily.

Today the areas feel quite sore like a burn would feel. Sensitive to touch and some movements. Vida told me to expect to peal within the next couple of days.

I will continue to update you all on this journey!

🙂

-A